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Manchester United manager rounds on De Gea’s critics

By David McNeill

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lashed out last night after the evergreen Ryan Giggs scored to earn his side a point in Portugal.

Giggs struck a fine equaliser in the 1-1 Champions League draw at Benfica’s Stadium of Light to draw praise from his manager.

But after Ferguson had complimented goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard for a sound display in Lisbon, he rounded on the critics of fellow United custodian David De Gea.

Lindegaard had no chance with Oscar Cardozo's opener for Benfica, but his assured performance on the night only served to highlight question marks over big-money summer signing De Gea, following the Spaniard's hotly-debated start to the season.

Asked whether Lindegaard had given him a selection dilemma against Chelsea in the Premier League clash this weekend, Ferguson roared: “I don't know why you ask these questions, you're just looking for stupid little things.

“Anyway, that just proves we have two terrific goalkeepers at Manchester United.”

Ferguson confirmed that De Gea, and not Lindegaard, will play on Sunday.

“That was the understanding we had before the game, and it doesn't change,” he said.

Lindegaard, meanwhile, said he felt he had done enough to give Ferguson food for thought.

“I'm satisfied with my performance, just a bit sad that I didn't save the first goal.” he said

Asked about challenging for the first-team spot, Lindegaard said: “What answer do you expect to that question? I've said a thousand times before — I'm not here to pick my nose.”

United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ City had an unlikely hero in defender Aleksandar Kolarov, who scored a free-kick to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Napoli at the Etihad.

City manager Roberto Mancini said: “It was difficult to play against Napoli because they defend very well and when they went on the attack they were dangerous.

“We wanted to win but the Champions League is hard, for us it was important to play well.”

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